This Is Why the Hudson Valley Is Indirectly Responsible for Hippies
A local mansion is at the center of the Hudson Valley's responsibility for furthering the 1960s psychedelic scene.
Timothy Leary was a Harvard professor and early experimenter with the drug LSD and a good deal of his experimentation happened here in the Hudson Valley in the years leading up to the famed "Summer of Love."
Timeline.com reports starting in 1963 Leary, colleague Richard Alpert and several of his colleagues along with nearly 30 of their "followers," made the Millbrook mansion just off Route 44 their home. It had been purchased by an eccentric New York City stock broker who was letting them use it for a whopping one dollar rent per year. The mansion and property were immense, with more than 60 rooms and 2,500 acres at their disposal.
In other words, plenty of room to 'research' psychedelic drugs. As word got out, celebrities, musicians and other well known artists began spending time at the mansion. As the profile rose, so did the attention of local law enforcement.
A nighttime raid in spring of 1966 was the beginning of the end for Leary & company's time in the Hudson Valley. In 1966 the drug LSD (acid) had just gone mainstream. The man who owned and had been renting the mansion out to Leary's group all along ended up bankrolling a major drug operation through connections made in the area.
As a result, a well known chemist produced more than 3.6 million hits acid which flooded San Francisco just in time for the 'Summer of Love' in 1967. Had this series of events not happened in the Hudson Valley, could things have gone down differently? Timeline offers up additional details here.